Government help may be on its way for the owners of the Hillview Condominiums in Abasand.
Mayor Scott has sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley updating them on the crisis.
“We recognize some owners of these properties have gone through hardship and difficulty during the rebuild process. We have continually advocated to the Province, the insurance industry and others on residents’ behalf. We will continue to do so and urge those that have the legal authority and ability to act to help those that are most in need,” said Mayor Scott.
This letter requests the governments review the matter with a goal of taking supportive action as soon as possible.
In May 2016, 214 units of the townhouses were burnt in the wildfire, are still not rebuilt and the condo owners have been forced to pay for two multi-million dollar assessments and hundreds of dollars of condo fee increases.
On Oct. 13, 2017, the Hillview Condo Corporation had been slapped with a $23,136,055 lawsuit after terminating their contract with the builder, Viceroy Construction LTD., in August 2017.
This came after Viceroy placed an $8,218,926.06 and a $4,983,757.93 lien on the property for work not yet complete
The Hillview Condo Corporation hired a new contractor, Calmac Developments Ltd., to finish the rebuild, which now includes an estimated $10.2 million in repairs to the work already completed from Viceroy since the construction area as damaged and weathered when left unattended.
In June 2018, David Swann called the NDP Government’s policies inadequate and accused them of leaving the condo owners behind.
Then In October 2018, the Condo owners found out that condo fees will be tripling as of Dec. 1, 2018 and will now be between $750 and $900 for homes that are still not complete.
Sheila Champion, one of the owners of the condominiums, has been asking for help for over the past year.
“We would love to see some some financial help to get us out of the mess that we are in because financially this build has gone so off the rails, there is no way for us to get back on track alone, we need help,” said Champion.
Another owner, Becky Benoit, told MyMcMurray that they are in a disaster.
“We’re also asking for a way to keep this from happening to other condo owners and the only way for that to happen is to find out where everything went wrong.
So we’re asking for the government to conduct a full forensic audit on our build, right from the very moment from when Viceroy was chosen as our contractor.”
Owners are facing bankruptcy, foreclosures and a number of mental health problems.
While the call for help waits to be answered, the Municipality will be hosting a Here For You session on Thurs, Nov. 8, 2018 from 4 p.m. till 8 p.m. in Ballroom C at Shell Place that will provide mental health resources and support for those feeling the impacts of rebuilding.